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Merkel Anxious That U.K.’s Mutated Virus Will Hit Germany Hard

  • Chancellor warns fast-spreading variant could cause surge
  • Curbs may need to be tightened and extended until late March
People queue for Covid-19 vaccinations in Berlin. Germany’s infection rate has climbed to 165 per 100,000 people.

People queue for Covid-19 vaccinations in Berlin. Germany’s infection rate has climbed to 165 per 100,000 people.

Photographer: Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg
Updated on

Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Germany may need to prolong its coronavirus lockdown until Easter due to risks posed by a fast-spreading variant from the U.K.

Europe’s largest economy has already seen its outbreak intensify in recent days, despite tightening restrictions on movement and contact. Now authorities are looking with concern toward Ireland, where the new strain has contributed to one of the world’s worst contagion rates.